Bantry Bay
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John Renfro Davis

The words and music to this ballad were written by James L. Molloy (1837-1909). Molloy was born in County Offaly. He moved to England and lived there most of his life. Although a barrister, he did not practice law. His other songs include The Kerry Dance and Just a Song at Twilight. As I'm sitting all alone in the gloaming,
It might have been but yesterday
That we watched the fisher sails all homing
Till the little herring fleet at anchor lay.
Then the fisher girls with baskets a swinging,
Came running down the old stone way.
Every lassie to her sailor lad was singing
A welcome to Bantry Bay.

Then we heard the pipers sweet note running,
And all the lassies turned to hear;
As they mingled with a soft voice crooning,
Till the music floated down the wooden pier,
Save you kindly Colleens all! said the piper,
Hands across the trip while I play,
And a tender sound of song and merry dancing,
Stole softly over Bantry Bay.

As I'm sitting alone in the gloaming
The shadows of the past draw near.
And I see the loving faces round me
That used to glad the old brown pier.
Some are gone upon their last homing
Some are left but they are old and gray,
And we're waiting for the tide in the gloaming,
To sail upon the Great Highway,
To the land of rest unending,
All peacefully from Bantry Bay.

Related Links
From Irish Ballads and Songs of the Sea
See Bibliography for full information.